Renovation continues to spend advertising dollars like they're going out of style... ...while pent-up demand for the Mega CD in North America buoys sales of the cartridge version of Heava Nova.

Beware the GCS-WT!
Sol Deace/Sol Feace
8 megabits/CD-ROM

When work on Mega CD titles started in Japan in 1991, many companies simply used eight megabit cartridges they were already working on as the basis for their CD games. CD quality music and cinema displays could then be added to take better advantage of the CD-ROM format.

Sol Feace, a side-scrolling shooter from Telenet/Wolf Team, was such a game. As if to underscore its cartridge-based origins, the game was released in North America early in 1992 newly rechristened Sol Deace. The reason for the name change remains unclear...

To make matters even more confusing, Sega decided to package the original CD version of the game with the Sega CD upon its release in November of 1992, and the title was changed back to Sol Feace. It had been a remarkable journey to these shores for a rather unremarkable game.

Although its CD music is quite good and its cinema displays are reasonably impressive considering the game's release date (aside from the narrator's apparent inability to utter a sentence without mentioning the evil "GCS-WT" computer life-form at least nine times), Sol Feace is a rather run-of-the-mill Genesis shooter. There is very little about this game to make it stand out from the crowd. The graphics aren't terribly impressive (especially Wolf Team's almost embarrassing attempts to make it look like the game makes use of the Mega CD's sprite rotation capabilities), and the difficulty level increases far too rapidly while the player is treated to less and less impressive-looking stages of play.

I can't help but think that development of Sol Feace was probably rushed so it could be finished in time to cash in on the Japanese release of the Mega CD. While still fun to whip out and play from time to time, there were much better shooters available on the Genesis system that didn't require the purchase of an expensive peripheral to play.

"I was spoiled by playing the CD version so of ... course I wasn't impressed by the sound or the lack of cinema display. Otherwise this cart packs a punch and has the intense game play that most shooters are lacking."
- Martin Alessi, EGM April 1992

"I like the fact that the space junk can kill you and that you can shoot it out of your way."
- Dave, Mega Play March/April 1992

Ballistic breaks new ground in the use of undergarments in game advertising...
Test Drive: The Duel
8 megabits

The popular computer racing series finally came to the Genesis system in 1992. Unfortunately, in 1992 the term "computer game" held a somewhat more negative connotation than it does today, and it is perhaps for this reason that the gaming press didn't give Test Drive much of a chance...

"The roadway is drawn poorly, the other cars lack smooth scaling and the sound effects are equally bad. An overall lack of action adds to this cart's troubles."
- Steve Harris, EGM April 1992

"The inside of the cars look cool but outside is another story! It can't be that hard to make backgrounds that have decent scaling."
- Bart, Mega Play May/June 1992

"Ball stealin' excitement!"
David Robinson's Supreme Court
8 megabits

Sega's second Genesis basketball game, David Robinson's Supreme Court seems to have been swept under the table (much like the rest of Sega's sports titles) while Electronic Arts took all the glory with Bulls vs. Lakers.

Sports Talk Baseball
8 megabits

For fans who couldn't get enough of the "SportsTalk" feature in Joe Montana II, Sega resurrected the technology in their latest baseball game. And there was much rejoicing...

"Desert Storm is over, but not everything was blown away."
Desert Strike
Electronic Arts
8 megabits

This three-quarter overhead perspective attack helicopter game was an instant success and spawned several sequels, including another Gulf War...

"When I first saw Desert Strike had a Gulf War-inspired story line, I groaned loudly. Would this be yet another second-rate product trying to capitalize on Saddamania? I'm happy to report that Desert Strike is anything but second-rate, and it actually benefits from the Gulf War story line."
- Zach Meston, VG&CE May 1992

"Had it been named Chopper Strike or something else, it would be cool. Let's not get cocky about war."
- Sushi-X, EGM April 1992

"Good sounds and fantastic graphics make this game awesome! You must love makin' cities into soup!"
- G.O.G., Mega Play May/June 1992

Super Off Road
4 megabits

Super Off Road looks a bit like an off road version of Super Sprint. This was apparently an arcade conversion, but some game critics felt that the arcade version of the game was better.

"The graphics are tiny and the music is annoying. The game play is almost uncontrollable and the opposing cars pull some real cheap stunts. I like the coin-op version of the game but this cart is lacking in too many areas to be called a good translation."
- Martin Alessi, EGM April 1992

Double Dragon
4 megabits

I've never been a big fan of the Double Dragon series in any of its incarnations, so whatever it was that possessed Ballistic to dredge up the aging progenitor of the series for a Genesis conversion mystifies me. Perhaps they figured that if it was big on the NES, they couldn't lose on Genesis...

"All in all, the Genesis version of Double Dragon offers little for your money. Even if you can resist the urge to give yourself 36 lives in order to ensure a longer-lasting game, you'll still have only four scenes through which to fight, which means you'll play those scenes over and over ad nauseam."
- Clayton Walnum, VG&CE July 1992

Syd Of Valis
8 megabits

For those who just couldn't get enough of Valis, Renovation released Syd of Valis in 1992. The game's developers appear to have taken a different, sort of "super-deformed", approach to Syd's graphics. I sadly haven't played the game so I can't comment on whether or not this change made it any more fun to play...

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